Will A-Rod Meet the Mets?

I’ve been asked by MFZ to add the New York Metropolitans to the list of teams that will be pursuing A-Rod this offseason. I didn’t put them on the list at first because it didn’t make sense; they have a 3B and a SS already. And both of them are pretty good. And young. And relatively cheap.

This whole A-Rod thing is really throwing off my judgment. I like to think that I am pretty accurate on my predictions and assessments. And for the most part I have been. But when it comes to A-Rod, I seem to be way off. I didn’t think there was any chance he’d opt out, if for no other reason than I can’t imagine any team offering more than the Yankees. Well I was wrong.

Boras has said that to get to the bargaining table with A-Rod, a team would have to start with an 8 year 32 million a year deal. There is not a single team in MLB that this deal would make sense for. Not even the Yankees. And that’s just the offer to begin negotiations. I make predictions on what I think is logical. But clearly, A-Rod is beyond logic.

So what about the Mets? They have two scenarios under which they can sign A-Rod.

Scenario 1: David Wright moves to 1B, A-Rod plays 3B. Delgado is traded. This situation is bad in a couple ways for the Mets. First off, having Wright play 1B is a waste of his talents. It is much easier to find a 1B who can hit than a 3B. Secondly, coming off a poor second half, the market for Delgado would be poor. So the Mets would probably have to trade him for less than he is worth.

Scenario 2: Jose Reyes is traded in a multi-player deal that nets Johan Santana. A-Rod is signed and plays short. For a season, this arrangement could work alright. A-Rod no longer has the body and range for SS, but he could be passable for a season or two. Santana in the National League would be scary and he would obviously be the stopper the Mets need. However, to lock Santana up long-term, the Mets would have to sign him to a deal worth more than $20 million a year. So moving forward, they would most likely have somewhere between $52-57 million locked up in two players. I know the Mets have resources, but not that kind of resources. They do not have enough young, cheap talent in their system to make such a top-heavy payroll structure work. Gomez and Milledge are nice pieces, but they’d probably have to part with one of them with Reyes to get Santana. And not to mention, Reyes is still currently signed to a very reasonable deal.

In either scenario, the Mets would lose their 1st round pick in the 2008 draft to the Yankees. Their farm system needs more high-potential prospects. And if the Yankees ever used that pick to draft a future all-star? Well I don’t think I have to tell you how that would end up.

Needless to say, my final opinion on A-Rod to the Mets is that it shouldn’t happen if the Mets are smart. But that is a rather large if in baseball these days.


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